Sunday, August 16, 2009

Summer Heat

As the temperatures hit +30 C in the afternoon during the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships on Lake Banook in Dartmouth, I stayed in the shade. I never understood the attraction of speed canoeing; I prefer a leisurely place or a jet skis. To make matters worse, I forgot where I parked my car when I wanted to go home. Wandering in the sweltering heat, I finally found the car 1 block north than I thought I parked it. It took me until Saturday to become un-jet lagged from the trip out west to California; I'm a wimp traveler. I'd hate to have to cross the international date line. 
Twenty years ago I drove a standard truck. Twenty years into the future, here I am, driving a standard transmission Subaru. The allure and zest in manual transmissions have, alas, lost their luster. I imagined the romance of zinging through those corners while practicing the heel-toe shift. Reality strikes when I grind the gear after a lazy attempt to engage 3rd. I guess I need to go back to manual transmission boot camp. While in California, a co-worker of mine was renting a Dodge Caliber. I had forgotten how bad these cars were. On the freeway, I asked her to 'floor it'. To which the car responded with this vague, buzzy noise and a vibration coming from the drive train. The wheels even shook as we coasted down the highway at 65 miles per hour. I remember reviewing the Caliber a few years ago with a buddy at work. I gave it a good review - it was innovative and had a fairly newish design. But on this drive, it was something out of a nightmare. The build quality, the horrible seats, crappy rear legroom, terrible engine and transmission. It's like Dodge gave up trying.

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